What is Reality?
Is it the objective outside world or rather is it just an internal construct of our own minds?
One of the most famous experiments ever conducted in order to shed light on this important question is the Double Slit Experiment.
First conducted by Thomas Young in 1801, it demonstrated that an individual electron could exist as both a wave (pure energy) or a particle.
Most importantly, the simple act of observing the electron as it travelled through a Slit could alter the way in which the electron presented itself.
Unobserved, the electron presented as a wave, but when observed it presented as a particle.
This potentially means that electrons as the building blocks of matter do not actually have a fixed predetermined form, but rather that the form they take depends purely on the act of our observation.
Therefore Reality is possibly a product of our own observation, rather than the result of perceiving an external independent fixed particle reality outside our observation.
The Quantum Theory that emerged out of the Double Slit Experiment essentially suggests that Reality may be nothing more than a collection of particles created in an image in our own minds from an observation of formless wave energy at a given point in time.
This brings us to the other interesting aspect of Quantum Theory which is the concept of Quantum Entanglement.
Quantum Entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles interact in such a way that the state of each particle cannot be described independently of the other, even when the particles are separated by a large distance.
In short, what this means is that all particles in the Universe are forever paired, linked and bound together.
The result is that any change in one particle, automatically affects its ‘pair particle’ no-matter how far in space and time the particles are from each other.
The Einstein / Bohr Debate
The Rules of the Quantum Universe go against our basic intuitions about the nature of Reality.
Is it made up of solid particles in the form of Atoms (Particles) or pure Energy expressed in Waveform?
The mystery only deepens when one considers that at the most basic Quantum Level, everything occurs randomly, and yet this produces a stable superstructure we call the Universe with constant predictable Physical Laws eg Newton’s Laws of Motion.
How this comes about triggered one of the most fierce Scientific debates between Einstein and Danish Physicist Neils Bohr.
Einstein was so disturbed by the logical implications of Quantum Theory, he made it his life work to create a Counter Theory he called The Unified Field Theory to prove that the Universe was made up of particles that acted predictably according to Universal Laws rather than on formless energy which formed itself into an image according to the random intention of the Observer.
Einstein ultimately failed in his bid to dislodge the basic ideas of Quantum Mechanics as argued by Bohr, and today Quantum Mechanics remains key to unlocking other deeper mysteries of the Universe.
Its one thing to describe Quantum behaviour using mathematical equations, but quite another to explain what and why produces and sustains the Quantum actions, interactions and behaviour in the first place?
Today, this great mystery continues to be explored, and provides useful insights in the fields of Science and most recently, the nature of Spirituality and Consciousness which may be potentially explained using the ideas and methods of Quantum Mechanics.
The quest continues, and the more we dig deeper into this strange Quantum World, the more important truths we learn, which always challenge us to expand our understanding of both ourselves and the Universe.
So what will it be….The Red or the Blue Pill?